Anzac Day 2019: Lest we forget
25 April 2019
AOC: On Anzac Day 2019, the Australian Olympic Committee would like to recognise all of those who have serve for their country, including many Olympians.
A gold and silver medalist at Stockholm 1912 in swimming, Cecil Healy then enlisted in the military and was killed during battle in 1918. The champion swimmer became the only Australian Olympic gold medallist to die in combat, when he was gunned down at the Somme in France.
One of his teammates from Stockholm, Harold Hardwick, enlisted as a three-time medalist and survived WWI. Another swimmer who survived was Frank Beaurepaire. A career triple medalist in swimming, Beaurepaire competed in London 1908, Antwerp 1920 and Paris 1924.
In addition, six members of the 1908 gold-medal winning rugby team enlisted. One of them was Danny Carroll, who, after playing for the first Wallabies at London, was also victorious in 1920, this time for the United States. He is the only Australian athlete who has medaled for multiple countries.
In total, 16 men served in World War I and returned to compete in the Olympics. Along with Carroll’s medal with the U.S, Ivan Stedman and Harry Hay joined Beaurepaire in winning subsequent medals in swimming after fighting the war.
There were 40 Olympians who enlisted in WWI and competed in an Olympic Games for Australia, listed alphabetically below:
- Claude Angelo: Wrestling – Paris 1924
- Frank Beaurepaire: Swimming – London 1908 (1 silver, 1 bronze), Antwerp 1920 (1 silver, 1 bronze), Paris 1924 (1 silver, 1 bronze)
- Malcolm Boyd: Athletics – Paris 1924
- Edwin ‘Slip’ Carr: Athletics – Paris 1924
- Daniel ‘Danny’ Carroll: Rugby – London 1908 (gold) and Antwerp 1920 (gold, in US team). Served, and was decorated, with US Army during WWI
- Frank Cummings: Rowing – Paris 1924
- Simon Fraser: Rowing – Stockholm 1912
- Harold Hardwick: Swimming – Stockholm 1912 (1 gold, 2 bronze)
- Henry ‘Harry’ Hauenstein: Rowing – Stockholm 1912. Awarded a Military Medal in WWI.
- Harry Hay: Swimming – Antwerp 1920 (1 silver)
- Cecil Healy: Swimming – Stockholm 1912 (1 gold, 1 silver). Known for his medals and great sportsmanship at Stockholm. This Manly surf lifesaver who was recognised for his bravery in the surf was the only Australian medallist to die in WWI. He was killed at Mont St Quentin, near Peronne on the Somme, 74 days before the end of the war.
- Keith Heritage: Rowing – Stockholm 1912. Was a reserve for the rowing eight at Stockholm, having rowed in the crew that won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley on the way to the Olympic Games. He was replaced in that crew by Hugh Ward. A very early volunteer for WWI, he served in New Guinea and Gallipoli. He then served in France where he was awarded a Military Cross a month prior to being killed at Pozières in July 1916.
- Stinton Hewitt: Athletics –Antwerp 1920
- John ‘Darb’ Hickey: Rugby – London 1908 (gold)
- Ernest Hutcheon: Athletics –London 1908
- Walter ‘Wally’ Jarvis: Rowing – Paris 1924
- Wilfrid Kent Hughes: Athletics –Antwerp 1920. In WWI he was awarded a Military Cross and was mentioned in despatches (MID) four times. He also served, and was decorated, in WW II. He became the Chairman of the Organising Committee for Melbourne 1956.
- William ‘Billy’ Longworth: Swimming – Stockholm 1912
- Joseph Lynch: Athletics – London 1908
- Malcolm McArthur: Rugby – London 1908 (gold). Awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal in WWI.
- Charles McMurtrie: Rugby – London 1908 (gold)
- Cecil McVilly: Rowing – Stockholm 1912. Awarded a Military Cross in WWI.
- Sydney Middleton: Rugby – London 1908 (gold); Rowing – Stockholm 1912. Served at Gallipoli. Within weeks of the armistice became organising secretary for the AIF Sports Control Board that provided sporting activities for soldiers waiting return to Australia from England prior to demobilisation. His wartime decorations included being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), being awarded the Distinguished Service Order and once MID.
- William Murray: Athletics – Stockholm 1912
- Thomas ‘Tom’ Richards: Rugby – London 1908 (gold). Was at the original Gallipoli landing. Awarded a Military Cross on the Western Front.
- Claude Ross: Athletics – Stockholm 1912. Enlisted in the early days of World War I and served at Gallipoli. He later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and in August 1917 lost his life over France.
- Harry Ross-Soden: Rowing – Stockholm 1912
- John ‘Jack’ Ryrie: Rowing – Stockholm 1912
- Frank Schryver: Swimming – Stockholm 1912. Served at Gallipoli. Awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal and a Military Medal in WWI.
- Arthur Scott: Rowing – Paris 1924
- Ivan Stedman: Swimming – Antwerp 1920 (1 silver), Paris 1924
- W. Allan Stewart: Athletics – Stockholm 1912
- Harvey Sutton: Athletics –London 1908. Twice MID and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his military service in the Middle East.
- Theodore ‘Theo’ Tartakover: Swimming – London 1908, Stockholm 1912
- ED ‘Ted’ Thomas: Rowing – Paris 1924
- Ronald ‘Ron’ Thomas: Tennis – Antwerp 1920
- Robert Waley: Rowing – Stockholm 1912
- Hugh Ward: Rowing – Stockholm 1912. Awarded Military Cross and 2 Bars in WWI.
- A James ‘Jim’ Willard: Tennis – Paris 1924. Awarded a Military Medal and Bar in WWI.
- AW ‘Nick’ Winter: Athletics – Paris 1924 (gold), Amsterdam 1928